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Fit Friday's In The Den-Due To The Cold Temperatures Try Plyometrics Indoors & Winter Nuturtion.

by Jennifer Taylor

Here is the latest edition of Fit Friday's in The Den. Kalea Delezenne has written a great article about Plyometrics  and how to move your workout indoors with these cold temperatures. I have also included an article about winter nuturtion.

Stay warm my friends,

Jen Taylor

Improve Your Power With Plyos!

By Kalea Delezenne,
ACSM -Certified Personal Trainer
MSU Graduate-Kinesiology & Health Promotion Degree 
Trainer at The YMCA Downtown Wellness Center   

Ahhhh Winter. Cold temps, snow, ice and freezing gusts of wind; who wouldn’t love this time of year?! Getting out side to be active can be tough, especially if you are not equipped for the weather. The next best thing? Exercising indoors with a sure fire training regimen to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning!! Plyometrics, (also known as plyos or jump training), are designed to improve your overall power and explosiveness. The definition of power (when it pertains to exercise) is the amount of work performed over a unit of time. Simply lifting weights or body weight to increase your strength does not always mean you are increasing your power. For example you may have a strong upper body and be able to lift a lot of weight but not be able to generate enough force to throw a shot put very far.

Plyometrics were made popular in the 1970s and are utilized my many athletes to improve their performance. They work by quickly shortening (concentric phase) and lengthening (eccentric phase) the muscle. This technique is based on scientific evidence that the stretch- shortening cycle engages the stretch reflex of our muscles and improves muscular contraction, (by engaging and recruiting the muscle tissue quickly you are also increasing the efficiency of the neuromuscular system, which means that you will be improving your reaction time, be more agile and even improve your balance).

Plyometric training places intense strain on your body and must be begun slowly to reduce your risk of injury. So take your time and get ready to see some amazing changes to your body! Here we go!!

Squat Jumps ….. 20 seconds

March In place….. 20 seconds

Burpees ….. 20 seconds

March in place … 20 seconds

Jump lunges …. 20 seconds

March in place …. 20 seconds

Lateral jumps …. 20 seconds

Power push ups (or regular pushups) …. 20 seconds

March in place… 20 seconds

Repeat 2x 

Jump Squat (keep your weight through your heels and land as ‘softly as you can’.

This means keeping your knees fluid. So when you land drop right back down into the squat and avoid locking your knees)

Burpees (start in a standing position. Squat down, placing your hands on the floor. Jump back so your body is in the plank position (keep your belly button pulled in tight to help protect your lower back), jump back up to the squatting position and return to standing. You can also return to standing and jump)

Jump lunges As with any lunge, you will want to keep your weight through your forward foot heel to maintain a 90 degree angle. Drop down into a lunge, jump vertically up, reverse the leg that was forward  and lunge again. If you are not the point of jumping and would like to work up to it, simply alternate your lunges as quickly as you can.

Lateral jumps Lateral means side (in this case side to side). Start in one spot and jump sideways. You can make these more advanced by jumping over an object, a line, or increasing the height of the object. If you are just starting, step side to side quickly.

Power (plyometric) Pushup Get into your regular pushup position (modified or full) (Abs pulled in, back straight, head looking at the floor to maintain a neutral spine). Drop down into your pushup and as you come up, push off and away from the floor. As you land (maintain soft elbows), think about landing fluidly and softly.

Want to try these but haven’t quite mastered the pushup? Do them off of the wall.

Good luck!! And happy jumping!

Winter Nutrition Guide

When winter days are cold, and you want to warm up fast, a bowl of cream soup or stew can certainly be appealing. But there is no excuse to throw all your healthy eating habits out the window just because it's dark and cold outside!

Winter Nutrition Guide: 4 Foolproof Steps

  1. Eat high-quality carbs
    Listen to your cravings - there is a reason for them! In the winter, with fewer sunny hours, your stored serotonin (the "feel-good" brain chemical) starts to decline. Your cravings for carbohydrate-loaded comfort foods are your body's cries for more serotonin. But be careful when choosing carbohydrates to boost serotonin! Opt for nutritious whole grains and choose high-quality carbs such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squashes.
  2. Love seasonal produce
    Winter produce may not be as exciting and colorful as summer berries, but there are still many healthy choices available. Work seasonal produce such as pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, purple grapes, and orange root vegetables into your meals. You'll not only add color to your plate, you'll pack in some serious nutrition punch. Check out our top 15 winter produce post.
  3. Short daytime? Consider Vitamin D supplements
    If you live in the northern hemisphere or wear sunscreen all the time, consider taking Vitamin D supplements especially in the winter months. Numerous studies have shown that oral intake of 1000 IU Vitamin D can reduce the risk of colon, breast, and ovarian cancers by as much as 50 percent. Vitamin D can be found in fortified dairy products, fatty fish, and egg yolks. But reaching the recommended level through food alone is rather difficult. Therefore, the Canadian Cancer Society recommends that all adults take 1000 IU of Vitamin D supplements every day during the fall and winter seasons. Be sure to speak to your doctor before starting any supplementation and check your existing multi-vitamins for the amount of Vitamin D you are currently supplementing.
  4. Eat to fight flu bugs
    Despite numerous claims you may have heard, no diet remedy or supplement has scientifically proved effective at preventing cold and flu, except Vitamin D. A 2007 study found that participants taking daily Vitamin D supplements were 3 times less likely to report cold and flu symptoms. What about Vitamin C? Studies have shown that 1,000 mg of Vitamin C supplements may make your cold milder and shorten it by half a day. In addition, there's a promising perk for yogurt lovers! A German study found that probiotics (as found in yogurt with active culture) may shorten your cold episode by almost two days. So keep on eating those "friendly" bugs!